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The Tale of Genji

Critique • Quotes • Translations

Tale of Genji1960 Modern Library edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

Also called
Genji Monogatari

First publication

Literature form


Writing language

Author's country

Approx. 527,000 words

Notable lines

In a certain reign there was a lady not of the first rank whom the emperor loved more than any of the others.

— First line, trans. Seidensticker

Such a difficult, constricted life as a woman was required to live! Moving things, amusing things, she must pretend to be unaffected by them. With whom was she to share the pleasure and beguile the tedium of this fleeting world? Like the mute prince who was always appearing in sad parables, a woman should be sensitive but silent.


Autumn is no time to lie alone.


It would seem that, as he examined the several possibilities, a suspicion crossed his mind: the memory of how he had behaved in earlier days made him ask whether someone might be hiding her from the world.

— Last line, trans. Seidensticker


Critique • Quotes • Translations

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Tale of Genji, trans. Tyler

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